Shionogi mulls filing for early approval of its oral COVID-19 pill

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida recently announced that the country may consider authorizing Shionogi’s (TYO:4507) S-217622 coronavirus-3C-like-proteinase inhibitor based on strong data from a Phase 2a study. In that study, recipients of S-217622 had significant improvement in viral load reduction compared to those who received a placebo. In addition, those who received the experimental drug were 80% less likely to shed virus after four days.

Shionogi may file for approval as early as next week, according to Mainichi Japan.

Shionogi is gearing up for a Phase 3 study of S-217622.

If the company receives early authorization, it could provide enough of the drug candidate to meet the needs of one million people by the end of March.

While both Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Merck (NYSE:MRK) have developed COVID-19 antivirals that have won use in a number of countries, supplies remain limited.

The company’s stock ticked up almost 3% to ¥7,984.00.

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